Luke: flashback

Family trees are fascinating and origins give a sense of rootedness.

A pupil of mine can trace his antecedents all the way back to a mediaeval king (I forget which one). I, on the other hand, can trace my ancestry on my mother’s side all the way back to a 16th centruy Cornish tin-miner who left Cornwall for London due to the lack of work in Cornwall. And apparently the spelling of her (maiden) surname is so rare that anyone with that surname who spells it that way is related to anyone else with the same name.

And I love the genealogy with which Luke begins. It reminds us that Jesus was a real man, with real ancestors. Luke reels them off at lightning speed, ending with the triumphant “son of Adam, son of God”. Because unlike my pupil, whose family tree is known only as far back as the Middle Ages, and myself, whose family tree is known only as far back as the 16th centruy, Jesus’ family tree is known as far back as God Himself. And right at the outset of his Gospel, Luke establishes that Jesus is God’s son.

As I allowed that short phrase “son of Adam, son of God” to resonate with me yesterday (sorry, still running a bit behind on this book club!) the awareness gradually grew in me that as we can all in theory trace our family tree back to Adam, the first man given life by God, the archetype for humanity, surely by implication we also are therefore sons and daughters of God.

Yes, we also – all of us, all men and women and children who have ever drawn breath, are sons and daughters of God. In the Eternal Now that has always been so and will for ever be so.

May this Advent season be for us all a journey into a deeper knowledge of our relationship with God in Christ, and may He open our eyes and hearts to see and know that everyone we meet, whether they know it or not, is also a son or daughter of God.

God give us grace to live as your sons and daughters, and to treat all who cross our paths as our brothers and sisters. Amen.

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